Get Ready for Fall 2023

New International Students will receive "Your GVSU Adventure..." emails from the ISS Team to help you prepare for your time at GVSU. Below you will find the information from these emails. The Zoom links to the relevant meetings are not available here but ONLY in the emails. If you cannot find an email, please contact the ISS Team by emailing [email protected].

  1. Visa Applications June 8
  2. Housing June 15
  3. Graduate Course Registration June 22
  4. Undergraduate Course Registration June 29
  5. Health Insurance July 6
  6. Student Accounts & Budgets July 13
  7. Student Employment July 20
  8. Orientation & Arrival July 27

You will get lots of emails from various people at GVSU! As a university, we want to make sure you are prepared and that you know we are here to help guide you. Please make sure to read all of these carefully as they contain important information for your success!

Visa Application | June 8

Visa Application Process

On the Zoom call, you will meet the ISS Team, discuss the visa application process, have a lot of time to ask questions and plan for your success in this process. 

Stay Tuned for the Summer 2023 Recording


If you already have a visa appointment that is AFTER the start of the semester (after August 29, 2023), you can ask GVSU to write a support letter to the embassy on your behalf requesting an expedited visa appointment. Your can submit your request here

Request Support Letter

Please note that we will begin sending letters on students' behalf starting July 15, 2023.

Housing | June 15

On-Campus Housing

Living on-campus is proven to help you do better academically and socially and provides added security. You will transition into the community better and make the most of your time here!

You need to organize your housing BEFORE you arrive to GVSU. We don't have any temporary accommodations, unfortunately.  

  • Check out on-campus options  (international students should look at transfer & graduate options).
  • Review housing rates.
  • Consider location: Pew Campus is downtown Grand Rapids (graduate courses) while Allendale Campus is the main campus and has the rec center & most social activities.
  • PLEASE NOTE: all freshman (first semester at any college in the world) are required to live on-campus.
  • You will have to pay a housing deposit of $150.00 when you apply. 
  • See arrival information for the earliest date you can move into GV Housing.

Make sure you apply as a transfer student! If you apply as a freshman you will be forced to live in freshman housing which mandates a meal plan and does not include shared living space or a kitchen. 


Off-Campus Housing

Although we do not recommend this, living off campus can be much more affordable. This requires much more work on your part and we are not able to assist in organizing off-campus housing.

Here are some options to look into:

  • The GVSU website has some nearby housing options.
  • Bayberry and Apple Ridge which are located halfway between downtown and Allendale. This is a convenient location as it takes about 15 minutes to get to either campus and the route 50 bus (GVSU campus connector running every 6 minutes) has stops near both apartment complexes
  • Craigslist is a website where you can list things for sale, apartments for rent, etc. BE CAREFUL as this is not a vetted site, which means anyone can list here. You should at least Skype with them before making any decisions! I have had several friends find rooms in a house this way but it does put more responsibility on you since there isn’t a company overseeing the site or individual listings. It's practically the wild west!
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  • Off-campus Housing List is an Excel file our office created detailing some of the options in popular locations near or between campuses

If you want to look into this option, you should consider the following questions:

  • What is the monthly cost?
  • Are utilities included? (additional costs for gas, electricity, garbage, internet)
  • Is it furnished? (most places you must bring your own bed, tables, chairs, even refrigerator sometimes!)
  • Is there a required security deposit? How much is it?
  • Do you need to pay rent in advance?
  • Do you need a US Social Security number?
  • Does the property manager require a background check?
  • Will you have to sign a lease? What are the dates on the lease? 
  • Where is it located? How long will it take me to get to classes?

Graduate Course Registration | June 22

Course Registration for Graduate Students

Graduate students:

You should email your Program Director to understand which courses you should register for. You will need to register courses yourself in MyBanner. Use this online list from the graduate school to determine who you should email within your program:

Undergraduate Course Registration | June 29

Course Registration for Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate Students:

Please check your emails regularly for information from your academic advisor. Make sure to please check all inboxes you have (personal, GVSU) and the Spam folders!

Registration tips:

  • Your advisor knows best--follow their advice! We know you're smart, but they're pros at this. Plus for undergraduates you HAVE to meet with them before registration is open. 
  • Register as soon as you can. Since courses often reach capacity, you might have to take a class in a different semester or at a time of day that isn't best for you. Take note of the waitlist and override options in the presentation.
  • There is no fee to register for courses.
  • You can change your schedule up until the first Friday of classes.
  • If the class you really want is full, register for a back-up course as recommended by your advisor while they try to get you into the course you LOVE!

Health Insurance | July 6

Health Insurance

This zoom call features representatives from LewerMark, GVSU's international student health insurance provider discussing policies, types of coverage and benefits. Check your email (and spam folder) for the zoom link to this important session.


Student Accounts & Budgets | July 13

Student Accounts

This zoom call will feature representatives from the Students Accounts office talking about how the billing schedule works, payment options (options through Banner as well as Western Union / Bank Wires), consequences for non-payment, 1042 tax implications and more. We will also talk about creating a budget and managing your money. You won't want to miss this important session.

Student Employment | July 20

Student Employment

This zoom call features representatives from the Student Employment office talking about how to apply for on-campus jobs, how to post a resume and what is expected for those who are working on campus, employment regulations and SSN's. Check your email (and spam folder) for the zoom link to this important session.


Arrival & Orientation | July 27

Arrival & Orientation Information

Depending on when you arrive and where you will be living, you will be provided advice regarding transportation.

  • There will be a designated arrival date (forthcoming) for students living on campus. Stay tuned for the date and more details! 
  • We cannot pick up students from the airport. PLEASE arrange for transport from the Grand Rapids Airport (or other) to campus. See Orientation Schedules for Grad and Undergrad Required Orientation times.
  • We do not recommend students use public transportation from another city (Chicago, Detroit etc) to get to Grand Rapids.
  • Students who arrive earlier than the designated arrival date MUST organize their own temporary accommodation. GVSU does not have any temporary accommodation. 
  • You cannot enter the US more than 30 days prior to your program start date (listed on your I-20/DS-2019).

Final Preparations

It's time to tie up loose ends! Here are all the items you should have completed before beginning classes in January:

  1. Visa
  2. Course Registration
  3. Housing
  4. Student ID Photo Upload 
  5. Covid Vaccination Info Upload 
  6. International Student Orientation Mandatory, January 5 & 6, $150 fee


International Student Orientation Facts:

  • Dates: January 5 for Graduate Students. January 6 for Undergraduate Students.
  • iStudent Orientation is AMAZING
  • iStudent Orientation is MANDATORY
  • There is a compulsory fee of $150 USD
  • This is NOT the same as the domestic student orientation; we cover important information about immigration regulations, social security applications, cultural differences, and much more! 
  • Graduate students should follow all of International Student Orientation - there are specific sessions included in International Student Orientation for Grads to meet with the graduate school

Page last modified May 23, 2023